Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017 have witnessed infighting within political parties. Swami Prasad Maurya has become the bone of contention between BJP and Sangh Parivar. Once Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly as the BSP man, Maurya is facing the wrath of saffron brigade due to his alleged remarks about Hindu gods and goddesses, according to The Indian Express report. In Maurya’s Padrauna constituency in the heart of eastern UP, a pamphlet is doing the rounds. It alleges that Maurya had once said that Brahmins are believers of “Manuwadi ideology” and that there is no place for human beings in the Hindu religion, according to The Indian Express report. The Congress and ruling Samajwadi Party are trying to capitalize the situation to brighten their chances.
“A small faction of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, which is contesting in a dozen-odd seats in and around Gorakhpur where its chief patron Yogi Adityanath wields influence, is working to upset the BJP’s applecart in the region. Adityanath has already sacked Yuva Vahini state president Sunil Singh. Also queering the pitch for Maurya are some rebels, including six-time Padrauna MP Ram Nagina Mishra’s son Purushuram Mishra,” the report said. Reports further say that RSS functionary Sanjay Jaiswal, had wanted to contest from Padrauna but was denied the ticket when Maurya joined the BJP.
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Maurya had termed BSP chief Mayawati as a goddess of corruption. Now Mayawati wants to pay him back by making sure that he doesn’t win. She had campaigned extensively in Padrauna.
Maurya is banking on the 15.000-20,000-odd votes of his community, Kushwaha, besides the BJP vote base of upper caste Hindus. The BJP has rushed a number of top leaders to contain the damage. Party president Amit Shah and Home Minister Rajnath Singh have visited Padrauna. Maurya’s son Utkarsh Maurya was in fray from Unchahar seat which went to polls during the fouth phase.
Notably, Uttar Pradesh Assembly Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey had disqualified Maurya, a rebel BSP leader who later defected to BJP, from the membership of the House.
An official release had said the Speaker has accepted a petition by BSP Legislature Party Leader Gaya Charan Dinkar in this regard. Dinakar had moved a petition citing the announcement made by Maurya at a press conference and subsequent actions to prove that Maurya had on his own quit the party on whose ticket he had been elected.
Citing various rules, the BSP had said Maurya is no longer qualified to be a member of the party as he quit it on his will and so he should be disqualified from the state Assembly and facilities and emoluments he enjoys as an MLA be withdrawn with effect from from June 22. Maurya, who had quit the party saying he felt “suffocated” and accusing BSP chief Mayawati of “auctioning” tickets for 2017 Assembly polls, subsequently joined BJP.
According to Vidhan Sabha officials, Maurya, who was Leader of Opposition before he left BSP, was given two opportunities to present his case but he failed to turn up before the Speaker on both the occasions, giving various reasons.